Time for the full-service gas station again

in Contributors/Lee Scott/Voices by


When I first got my driver’s license in 1969, my parents made me use my own money to put gas in the family car.

Mom had one of those gas guzzlers. It was a Dodge Station wagon with a V-8 engine. The fuel tank was around 25 gallons, and if I had to fill it up it would have cost me almost $10.

Gas prices were around $.35 a gallon then. Naturally, I never filled it up. I would pull up to the pump and ask for $3. That would get me about 100 miles based on the Dodge’s 13 mpg.

It was Mom who insisted we go to Red’s Redland Texaco. This is the place that was advertised with the “white glove” treatment. Although I do not recall them wearing white gloves, I do recall the service.

I did not have to get out of my car. I would just pull up to the pump, hand my $3 to the attendant, and he would put the gas in the car. Then he would wash the windshield, check my oil, and look at my tires. It was wonderful. 

Mom loved it because she could pull in and ask them to fill up only to realize she had forgotten her purse. Without having to leave one of us kids as collateral, Red would waive to her and say, “No problem, Mrs. Smith. Just drop it off next time.”

Mom had a running tab with Red because she would always be forgetting her purse. 

But as the years went by, Red’s started its “self-service” lane. I hated it. I did not like to touch the handle, I did not like the smell of the gas, and I did not want to deal with the elements such as rain and snow. I continued to go to the full-service lane for years. 

Then it happened. I had to drive around to find a station that still had full service until one day, they were gone. (except in New Jersey).

When I complained to my husband, he said he would do it for me. I told him that I did not want to ruin my work clothes. Then I retired and that excuse went out the window. I learned how to pump my own gas.

Now I feel that it is time we all go back to full-service stations. One person, with white gloves and a mask could be pumping the gas for us. That way, only one person is touching the handle and the buttons. 

They could take the person’s cash or debit card and the driver would not even have to get out of the car.

Finally, back to the good old days and I don’t even have to move to New Jersey. 

Lee Scott, award winning humor writer takes her “Walter Mitty” like persona and spins tales around everyday life. She enjoys boating, reading, and meeting people. Scott lives in Beaufort with her husband, JD, along with their dog Brandy. You can reach her at Lasshood@aol.com.